Well we know when the autumn is here and summer is over as after the Last Night of the Proms, the Great British Bake off finishing line is in sight ('sob') and Strictly starts and we are well into the run up to, oh gawd, Christmas!! AAAgh. As per, I find the first couple of weeks ot SCD a bit of a blur and the opening show, always but always naff, and the first week all somewhat bewildering as it takes a while to tune into the bling, the tan and the sequins.
I cannot remember half the names of the new professionals, one of whom looks about twelve, and have yet to sort out all the Slebs but here are my first thoughts, which I hope will be clearer in weeks to come.
Tess and Claudia - as you know I love Claudia and simply cannot stand Tess. I am staggered at how she has managed to cling onto this job. She is wooden, banal and has a delivery that makes the wittiest line (not that there are many of them) hit the ground with a clunk. She also still has that awful habit of grabbing the slebs in a limpet like grip as they come off the floor and never lets them go. Yes, I know she has to make sure that they are in the right spot for the camera but she then hangs onto them like a drowning man an oar. She was, is, and remains DIRE. I gather she has a stylist who starts planning her wardrobe 'months before'. His time has obviously been wasted.
Of course, I am in mourning as Gleb Sevchenko the Russian guy who is the most gorgeous thing I have ever laid eyes on, decided not to come back. Says he is happily married with a little girl and does not wish to incur the Curse of Strictly and have his marriage break up. As most of the nation's womanhood were slavering over him, including me, this was probably a wise decision, even if it is a sad one.
We have some new dancers, most of whom have yet to impinge, one of who is tiny and curly haired and looks as if he should be at school. Primary school. He is partnered with an Olympic gymnast Frangipane or Fondant or some such name who is only 4 ' 7" so I am expecting lots of comments along the lines of Pocket Rocket and Tess will fondle her and say Oh Bless and aren't they sweet and generally talk to both of them as if they are at kindergarten. Claudia produced a drawing book and pencils for the Wee Bloke last week but she manages to get away with it. Tess cannot.
We have the obligatory East Ender about whom I know nil. She has a laugh like a corncrake and bags of personality. I feel she could become rather wearing.
We have an actor from Hollyoakes about whom I also know nil. He is sleek and good looking and is partnered with the lovely and delightful Oti Mabuse and I think they could go far as their first outing was brilliant.
Anton, who is obviously on his way to the exit door, was partnered, yet again with the oldest and least likely dancer to win. He always takes it in good heart, he even managed to smile last year when he had Katy twinklyvivacious Derham, but this time around he has Lesley Joseph, actress and best known for Birds of a Feather. I think they may be out in the first few weeks.
Then there is somebody called Judge Rinder who is as camp as a row of the proverbial tent pegs and did an outrageous cha cha cha which had me in hysterics. Out camped Craig and that takes some doing I can tell you. He will be around for a while.
Daisy Lowe, who I gather is a model, told us that her grandfather had died while she was rehearsing so this waltz was in his memory. Bit early to play the dead relative card I thought, shades of X Factor, but I am being unkind. Judges were all deeply moved save Beloved Craig who had the guts to say it was sickly and sentimental. I love him.
Of course the person we are all most interested in is Ed Balls, ex Shadow Chancellor and ex Bully Boy from the government headed up by Gordon Brown. Not surprised he wants to do Strictly. I would think working with the Big Sulk was enough to pulverize all life and joy out of anybody and he wants to see if he can get it back. Clearly an awful dancer, he is 'out of his comfort zone' (somebody ban that phrase from TV or anywhere, please) and trying very hard and I think it is brave of him to attempt this as it is clear he is going to get a huge amount of flack and sarky comments. On the Guardian live blog, which is a hoot and I join in with all the others Below the Line, there is a huge amount of support for him and I will admit to finding him rather endearing. Yes endearing. I am amazed that I should use that word in conjunction with Ed B but there you go. I do not think I have ever seen anybody so petrified as he was on Saturday night. His tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth and he could barely speak. I hope he lasts a week or two.
Will write in more detail about the rest of them when I have got to grips with who they are.